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Newt Gingrich Says Free Speech May Be Forfeit

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the cain't-let-the-terrists-use-the-internets dept.

Censorship 894

At a dinner honoring those who stand up for freedom of speech, former House speaker Newt Gingrich issued his opinion that the idea of free speech in the U.S. needs to be re-examined in the interest of fighting terrorism. Gingrich said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message. The article has few details of what Gingrich actually said beyond the summary above, and no analysis pointing out how utterly clueless the suggestion is given the Internet's nature and trans-national reach.

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Their America? (1, Interesting)

blanks (108019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020674)

Why is it people like this are in charge of running America?

Re:Their America? (0)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020744)

Because Americans keep electing them. D'oh.

They get the "democracy" they ask for. Go figure.

Re:Their America? (5, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020838)

Gingrich holds no elected office.

Re:Their America? (5, Interesting)

avronius (689343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021038)

It's uncanny how recent law changes and the subsequent cries for more control and less freedom in the US mimic the changes that take place in "Animal Farm"...

It appears that Newt is just another pig, and the American constituency are the remainder of the barnyard animals. You need to find some mules with voices to nip this in the bud before it goes any further.

Re:Their America? (3, Funny)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021100)

Clearly his opinions are unchecked.

Oh, wait...

It's standard progression. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021188)

There's always some "threat" that requires that we give up some Freedoms ... just until the threat is over ... so the government can "protect" us.

Freedom is not safe.

Our forefathers felt that it was better to die Free than to live under tyranny.

I'll take their opinions over Newt's any day.

Re:It's standard progression. (1)

ccarson (562931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021352)

I'm inclined to disagree with Newt on this and at the same time I want to do everything possible to get the barbaric bastards who keep killing innocent people. It's tough and it's only going to get tougher. The world is about to get really scary, I'm afraid.

Mules or donkeys? (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021354)

You need to find some mules with voices to nip this in the bud before it goes any further.
And when you say mules, do you mean donkeys [] ? ;)

Re:Their America? (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020920)

Newt's not elected to anything, though he is talking about a 2008 presidential run.

The only possible reason to want to curtail freedom of speech is to maintain a tighter control on a domestic population, which falls right in line with the current Republican agenda, so it's no surprise that that's what he wants, but I'm surprised even he would come right out and say it.

Anyone who is incapable of understanding why Freedom of Speech is essential to a democracy has no business being anywhere near government. That people don't rise up and tear him apart explains, in a nutshell, why, historically, democracies don't last.

Re:Their America? (1, Flamebait)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020768)

Hey dumbfuck - perhaps you might be interested in the fact that Gingrich hasn't held office for 7 years.

Re:Their America? (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020840)

Last I heard he was running for president. He gotta bang that terrorism fear drum for the next two years and the American people are proven suckers for reduced liberty for false security.

Re:Their America? (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020784)

I would remind you that Gingrich is not now running America. He has not held elected office since 1999, and is not likely to in the near future, long-shot presidential aspirations notwithstanding. He's politically radioactive after shutting down the government in budget battles with Clinton.

Re:Their America? (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021300)

Not only is Gingrich not in power, but we don't even know what he said. I'm not going to get all worked up about a few quotes or misquotes in a speech by a nobody.

That said, the larger issue is important. Just last night NBC ran a story [] about nuclear plant and security information being available in public libraries. My first reaction was that I generally favor public access to information, and that private watchdogs and the free press are probably why the US has not had a Chernobyl. The idea of purging public libraries is distasteful. But then they talked about what information was available, and I had to agree some of it should not be public, such as specifically the most damaging place to hit a nuclear power plant with an airplane. It is old information, and that sort of information would probably never be released now. Is that a good or bad thing?

Re:Their America? (2, Interesting)

dan828 (753380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021346)

He's politically radioactive after shutting down the government in budget battles with Clinton.

Which I've never understood. Shutting down the government showed people some things-- the biggest was that much of the government is superfluous, and that having a good amount of the government not working didn't effect much. The press was all in a titter looking for the horrible effects of the government shutdown, and the most the were able to find was that a few people couldn't get passports and government workers weren't getting paid. That more than anything else is what got the politicians to hammer out a deal. It wasn't that the government had ground to a hault, it was that it had ground to a hault and it wasn't effecting much. They had to get it started up again before voters realized that much of the bureaucracy isn't needed. It must have scared the hell out of the politicians and the bureaucraticic drones.

Re:Their America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020984)

America is so 'Lol'.

Re:Their America? (5, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021076)

Why do we let them be in charge?

Terrorism is bad. It really is. It does not follow that it is so bad that we need to re-examin our fundemental rights.

Far more people die at the hands of run-of-the-mill criminals, in automobile accidents, of heart disease, and of AIDS. The number of Americans who were killed by terrorists last year was laughably small (Even our president calls those guys in Iraq insurgents and not terrorists, just in case you wanted to lump them in).

So why give up free speech? Privacy? Protection against unreasonable search and seisure? To stop the "scourge" of terrorism that didn't bomb a single target you can actually name last year?

These guys want power over you. They want to arrest you for mere suspision, they want to detain you for disagreeing, they want to hold you as long as they want without a trial, and they want to beat the confesion out of you when time alone doesn't make you change your tune. Then they want ot take the false info you gave them and proclaim "Look! We stopped this terrorist!"

Don't give it to them. Don't give them your rights. Anyone who says you need to make that kind of sacrifice, he's the one you want to kick out of office.


Pundits (0)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021236)

Don't worry, he's not in charge of running America. He's just another paid, idiotic talking-head shill who appears regularly in the mainstream media who doesn't really know what he's talking about. The nice thing about the Internet is, the proles like you and me can debate ideas like his head-to-head here, in discussion forums, blogs, etc. He's preaching to the choir; his audience is a couple of hundred thousand Fox News fanatics who are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Their influence and numbers are declining daily, these days, and many of the ones who do have Internet access are borderline illiterate [] . There's a far higher proportion of intelligent people hanging out at places like Slashdot [] and DailyKos [] .

Free Post (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020676)



A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021258)

Some moderator in a hurry saw this and thought it said First Post. It doesn't. It may just be a joke, but it is relevant.

Irony of venue (4, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020678)

On one hand, it galls me that Mr. Gingrich would say free speech should be limited at a First Amendment Award banquet. The real irony, though, is that this is exactly what the speech, press, and association clauses of the first amendment are all about: protecting the expression of political ideas that might disagree with law, government policy, or popular opinion.

Re:Irony of venue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020746)

In other words, the Veal was delicious.

Oh I get it, he was just making a joke.... (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020812)

It wasn't funny.

Re:Irony of venue (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020852)

In short: I will defend to the death the right of Mr. Gringich to make a total ass out of himself, even when he's going directly against my cause. That is the beauty of Free Speech.

Free speech is also about allowing me to tell Mr. Gringich to go fuck himself.

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020958)

You're a terrorist!

Re:Irony of venue (3, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021148)

Free speech is also about allowing me to tell Mr. Gringich to go fuck himself.

Hey, if the Vice President can say it to a sitting senator...

Re:Irony of venue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021238)

Just as with the "patriot act", the oppresion of our natural human right (god-given if you prefer) to speak our minds has been planned for years. Terrorism is merely a convienent scapegoat, the open door they have been anticipating for decades. They saw their opportunity and they seized it, and now they're moving on to the next step. What else is new?

That's really all there is to it. Government benefits from more government and less freedom for the individual, just as Wal-Mart benefits from more superstores and less competition. There really is no need to analyze WHY government does exactly what it does -- all you have to do is recognize that government benefits from more government (regardless of whether they "succeed" or "fail"), and the age-old ugly truth is uncovered.

Let's conclude with some food for thought: if the end result of all this "anti-terrorism" legislation is in fact MORE terrorism, does government lose or does government win?

There goes the Neighborhood (1)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020684)

Good bye

Funny that (1)

rodgster (671476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020696)

The former Speaker of the House says free speech needs to be restricted.

You have got to be kidding! This guy who is headed for jail is still trying to subvert the Constitution!

Que the in soviet Russia jokes now.

Help? (5, Funny)

lupine_stalker (1000459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020698)

I can't find a way to mod Newt Gingrich down as "Troll", "Flamebait", or "Redundant". Can someone help me?

Re:Help? (2, Funny)

93,000 (150453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020912)

RTFM, n00b.

I've been modding him down since 1995.

Re:Help? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020954)

I can think of a twenty cent solution to your problem, but it is generally frowned upon. However, the government does it all the time, and he wants to be a part of the government, so I suppose he should be fair game.

Re:Help? (1)

Tsu-na-mi (88576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021318)

Ninjas also apparently insert random apostrophes in all their plural words.

Re:Help? (1)

rk (6314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021400)

He's already at -1. Further downmodding is not possible.

In Soviet America (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020712)

Gingrich re-evaluates you!

Fuck you (-1, Flamebait)

DoktorSeven (628331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020714)

His words make me so goddamn angry that I can't even express myself civilly. Fuck you, you worthless piece of shit. It's people like you that have fucked this country to hell.

Get out of our country. Now.

Terrorist! (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020970)

Careful, now. You'll make the terrorists win!

Re:Fuck you (1, Redundant)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021012)

I think Benjamin Franklin said it best. Can't believe no one else has C&P'd this yet:

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security

Pretty much says it all.

Re:Fuck you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021014)

What do you really think? =)

Re:Fuck you (1)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021328)

I'm with you. I better get this out of my system while I have the freedom to:
"Die in a fire fueled by cow crap, you just cost me $7.95 [] today to take advantage of free speech before it gets shut down for yet more generic security reasons".

Re:Fuck you (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021358)

Isn't it a fundamental flaw of free speech that it can be used to express one's opposition to free speech? Or do you believe that free speech should be restricted in order to prevent such opposition being expressed?

Once again NOBODY on /. reads the article (1, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021360)

I read the article. Did you? Obviously not. Nowhere in it did Gringrich say exactly how or what he would suggest changing with regards to free speech. Yet that's enough to send the /. pundits through the roof. Perhaps in the future it might be helpful to know exactly what you are getting upset about before losing your mind.

By the way morons, he hasn't served in Congress since 1998, so it's not like he is running the show any more.

Thank God (2, Interesting)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020726)

Thank God he isn't the speaker of the House anymore. It's scary when someone in power has an opinion about technology that they know nothing about.

It isn't just him! (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020950)

Like this problem will go away because he is gone???? Terrorism is the buzz word of the day all politicians will do just about anything to get re-elected. If that means pissing on the bill or rights, so be it. No politician in his right mind is going to say the right thing "I think the first amendment should be sacred even if it means giving some kind of advantage to a would be terrorist." They like their jobs, power, money .......

Re:It isn't just him! (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021054)

Oh no, you are right. I was just implying that it's one less ignorant polititian that isn't in power to help ruin things. The last line applied to the vast majoritiy of ignorant polititians still in power. Nothing is sacred.

Re:It isn't just him! (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021152)

Summary of modern politics :
Won't children please think of the terrorists ?

It's not about the technology. (2, Insightful)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021040)

It's about muzzling people like you. People who say things the rulers don't like. People who might have a conscience.

Networking technology is just the latest excuse. And the "Red Scare" wore out so now the enemies of freedom hype "the War on Terror".

Re:It's not about the technology. (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021122)

I guess it is just a scapegoat to blame it all on the internet and other "newer" technologies. Never really thought of it that way.

Makes sense to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020730)

After all, if we don't have any freedoms and we don't believe in mankind's inherent rights, what can they hate us for?

We'll all be safer in our cages.

Hurrah! Cheers.

Screw you.

doesnt get it... (5, Insightful)

CyberBill (526285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020734)

People need to understand that the reason we have freedom of speech and the right to bear arms is so that the people of this country can, if necessary, reshape the government WITH FORCE.

Re:doesnt get it... (5, Insightful)

gumbright (574609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020940)

Well perhaps not force (if it can be helped).

But it is so galling that these idiots who claim to want to defend the country see no problems with attempting to dismantle the very things that MAKE this country what it is. Where is this disconnect happening in their heads? I put this to my young sons:

Somebody wants to take your favorite toy. You could break it apart is small pieces and bury those pieces in the ground so they can't find it. Now I have 2 questions:

1) Is your toy now safe? They both answered yes.
2) Did you protect your toy? They both answered no.

A 4 and a 7 year old get it, why can't the idiot neocons?

Re:doesnt get it... (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020968)

Thank you! What happened to all the Thomas Jeffersons out there who actually believe in freedom?


Re:doesnt get it... (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021036)

Yes, exactly right. The Bill of Rights is less touchy-feely than most people think. Speech, arms, freedom for forcing soldiers into your home, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, fair trials, nor cruel or unusual punishment, etc. These are to constrain the ability of the government to quell a just revolution.

If we want freedom for ourselves, we must preserve the right of others to say things we disagree with.

Re:doesnt get it... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021124)

And many of those that "get it" don't get it. You can no longer reshape the government with FORCE by bearing arms. Their guns are much bigger than our guns.

move along now.. (1)

TheSam (636870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020738)

More old men making idiotic gestures towards a false sense of security. How long until the current "rulers" of our nation die off and a little more tech-savvy (hopefully) group moves in?

Who to clamp down first (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020754)

Rush Limbaugh

Re:Who to clamp down first (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021268)

Eh, Ann Coulter is a better first choice.

What's that BS... (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020776)

If politicians are so hot on reducing free speech to fight terrorism, they should be voted out of office and be denied unemployment benefits (i.e., lobbying and speaking).

he's right!! (0, Troll)

mofag (709856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020786)

You boys need to build a really big wall to stop all those nasty foreigners getting in or you getting out. Gag yourselves and police each other. Only then will you be free :) On the upside though, the rest of the world would actually feel a whole lot more free without the US intervening in order to "protect its interests"

nice troll (1)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021270)

Gag yourselves and police each other. Only then will you be free :) On the upside though, the rest of the world would actually feel a whole lot more free without the US intervening in order to "protect its interests"
...but it's politicians like Newt (the guy you'd like to have gag us), not american people in general, that like to invade other countries. While I understand you were making a joke, it's grounded in a pretty idiotic stereotype and a conflation of our people and our government. The US is a much more diverse country than most people think (or choose to realise), and you can't nail our people down to one closed-minded policy. I'm sick of people acting like the US is the only country with asshole politician problems.

Familiar attitude (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020802)

From someone on government: "We face a threat to dire that you must give up your defenses against government oppression."

I forget, how long as Egypt been in a "state of emergency"?

Maybe New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die" motto is just lip-service?

That's so dumb (4, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020810)

Gingrich should be legally prevented from saying such dumb things.

Re:That's so dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020978)

You do realize the irony of that solution?

What an idiot. (2, Insightful)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020816)

The article pretty much speaks for itself.

Newt Gingrich is a big fat tool. Mod flamebait if you need to.

That's outrageous (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020846)

We can't curtail civil liberties in the name of the War on Terrorism anymore! Now we curtail civil liberties in the name of the War on Illegal Immigration!

Estranged from his party, graspjng for relevancy (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020848)

Gingrich is in exile from the Republican party for his '97 ethics charges. The article insinuates that he may be thinking of running for President, but the Republicans won't take him and he isn't even as electable as Hillary.

So what is he trying to say? That free speech should be strengthened by the removal of campaign finance laws? That's a good point. But what about this bit about the removal of Internet access to stymie terrorists and their terrorism? That's not good at all.

Then again, the man, despite his political genius and sharp insight into public policy, is a non-entity in political circles. What he says carries no weight anymore, and the sweep of Congress by the Dems puts the last nail in the coffin of the heady days of 1994.

All righty then (1, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020850)

Perhaps Mr. Gingrich will be the first to volunteer to have his right to freedom of speech revoked.

Idea behind Terrorism (2, Insightful)

bucktug (306690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020856)

I thought the entire idea of terrorism was to garner the attention that you receive to allow others to see your ideas or distrupt the status quo enough where they would have to change. Typically this would come from a group that has no inroads to get their message across in the current system. So... Let us limit speech and further disenfranchise folks that will create more limited means of getting a groups message out and thus creating more terrorists.

This Kind of Speech Must be Stopped (2, Insightful)

dcw3 (649211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020876)

Ok, as a lifelong conservative, I find the thought of limiting anyones freedom of speech morally offensive (note the sarcasm in my subject line). Unless it's yelling fire in a theater (or similar action), or conspiracy to commit a crime, freedom of speech should never be inhibited publically. I didn't RTFA, but Newt is off his rocker on this one (and a few others), though I'll defend his right to speak his mind.

No thanks Mr. Gingrich (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17020910)

I'm a conservative (a real fiscal conservative, not the BS that is Bush and Co.) and always liked Newt, but not anymore. Sorry, but this kinda BS is completely out of line and he should be promptly kicked in the crotch.

We're lucky he is no longer in office.

Re:No thanks Mr. Gingrich (2)

Rinzai (694786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021050)

I'm with you. As a conservative and a Republican (because I don't get to vote in primaries otherwise), I'm stunned by the stupidity of the entire concept. How the Hell can you have freedom by banning books, eliminating campaign commentary before elections, and re-examining the Constitutional right to freedom of political speech? (All of these moronic concepts have been advanced by so-called "Conservatives" over the years.)

I used to think he was smart.

Now I think he might just be like Jimmy Carter; smarter when he was younger, but now as daffy as a Warner Bros. cartoon duck.

Fool me once... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020946)

Is this another article?

Have you forgotten 9/11 already? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17020980)

I still remember 9/11 and we are in a fight for our life against an evil threat that wants to end our way of life. We need to be ready to win this fight.

We need to stay the course in Iraq and more importantly we need to stop letting these ACLU liberals who whine about "free speech" weaken our resolve.

Re:Have you forgotten 9/11 already? (2, Funny)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021190)

That's right, we must win the fight to end our way of life! If they get there before we do, we're screwed!

FUD (4, Insightful)

maelstrom (638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021048)

So you don't know what he actually said, but you're going to post an article on a tech oriented site lambasting it.... That's responsible of you.

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021288)

It's hard to imagine anything he could have said along these lines that wouldn't make him look like a complete douche. Can you honestly argue that anything he might have said along the lines of "we must limit free speech to fight terrorism" could possibly have been a good thing?

His exact phrasing doesn't matter. His message does. I don't see any evidence to suggest that his message is anything other than what's in TFA. And no matter how you slice it, attacking the rights of the people is despicable.

to anyone who thinks (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021080)

To anyone who thinks that speech cannot be restricted on the Internet(s), please, go back and re-read all the slashdot articles on the Great Firewall of China. You didn't think Newt was begin original here, did you?

Where to begin? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021088)

Well, aside from the general ridiculousness of his position, my biggest concern is that there are enough Republicans eager for new[1] leadership that he has some credibility.

A brief specific from TFA:
Gingrich sharply criticized campaign finance laws he charged were reducing free speech and doing little to fight attack advertising.

I'm sorry, I wasn't aware of the fact[2] that campaign finance reform has anything to do with limiting attack advertising. Silly me, I thought it was to prevent undue influence from moneyed interests, and to level the playing field for those candidates not independently wealthy.

[1] by new, I mean new-ish. Recycled from previous failed Congresses, even.

[2] 'Fact' as in intentional misdirection from the true purposes of campaign finance reform.

And finally, where does NG get off complaining about negative campaigning? Gingrich routinely used attack ads in his campaigns, and in campaigns against Clinton.

Free Speech? (1)

DulcetTone (601692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021102)

I don't see how fighting terror has to in any way touch on free speech, unless we are talking about not permitting people to glorify terrorism. The last I can understand, as when terror occurs in a series of suicidal acts, each inspired by the foregoing one (and the waves of lionization lauded upon its perpetrators), I think it can reasonably be stated that the glorifying of past acts is in fact incitement of the next such act. That speech should be culpable in the same vein as shouting fire in a movie theatre.

Using Gingrich's Logic...... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021108)

..... Would it not make the U.S.A. no better than the terrorists? After all, isn't the Bush administration's logic the fact that we have free speech and the like?

mod 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021136)

So quick to criticize... (2, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021146)

Two quotes from the article...
  • "different set of rules"...the rest paraphrased by the author
  • "We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade"

...and already people are bashing the guy. I don't see how anyone can come to any conclusions based on these two quotes. The rest of the story should have some Gingrich bashers really confused:
"Gingrich said America has "failed" in Iraq over the past three years and urged a new approach to winning the conflict. The U.S. needs to engage Syria and Iran and increase investment to train the Iraqi army and a national police force, he said. "How does a defeat for America make us safer?" Gingrich said. "I would look at an entirely new strategy." He added: "We have clearly failed in the last three years to achieve the kind of outcome we want."

You might not be a Republican, and you might not agree with everything he has to say, but he is an extrememly intelligent man (Ph.D Tulane) and it might behoove you to read the entire speech transcript before getting so worked up.

Sad... (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021160)

It's SO ironic. Last major terrorist action (spain, some years ago) eveny government is doing exactly that what the terrorists want them to do.
Issue all kinds of weird laws that take away our freedom, wiretap everybody, evedrop on your email and so on and so on.

Great job. :(

New tactic in the WOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021164)

New winning strategy in the WOT:

Don't hate us, we're just like you.

towing the party line.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021182)

Scumbags like Newt have been itching to silence media and people for decades, they are at their core PISSED that anyone is allowed to air thier dirty laundry, publicly disagree with them, or even say they are doing a bad job! Nokw they have the terrorism bogeyman to help further their agandas and are pushing hard.

Problem is that the typical American laps that crap up like a man lost in a desert for a few days will drink from the first puddle of water he sees.

My fellow Americans, call for the silencing of idiots like Newt, and call for the resignation of every elected official that tramples on your rights.... Come on, get some balls will all of ya? The new shiny this holiday season is not as important as your country!

Bah, nevermind, nobody is listening anyways.

How many of you complaining about... (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021186)

restrictions on free speech supported restrictions of free speech via the mechanism known as campaign finance reform?

Just curious.

smells like a hatchet job (1)

jmyers (208878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021192)

The article does not say anything close to the headline. There are two quotes attributed to newt and neither one give a hint at what he said. I have to believe the title is a hatchet job on Newt. If he actually said something in the context of restricting free speech I think they would have used the full quote.

Here are the two quotes in the article and neither one has a real context...

"We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade,"

"different set of rules"

The article goes on to quote him as saying the Iraq war is a failure.

I Hope (1)

TranscendentalAnarch (1005937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021198)

From TFA:
Gingrich said he will not decide whether he is running for President until September 2007.
I hope he does, just so I can see him fail miserably. His lack of respect for constitutional rights and his outlandish ideas of engaging Syria and Iran as a means of finding "success" are likely to scare all but the most conservative voters.

He shouldn't be... (1)

RelaxedTension (914174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021216)

allowed to say that.

Tag: Asinine (1)

ewhac (5844) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021226)

For those with short memories, Gingrich was one of the primary front-men for the Republican party's "Contract On^H^HWith America."

Gingrich clearly isn't a Republican, but an Authoritarian, and should be derided as such.


Hold on a minute (5, Informative)

andytrevino (943397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021240)

As usual, there is more than meets the eye, especially when the original article is from the "Union Leader"..

From a fairly robust article in the Boston Globe [] I dug up with a quick Google News search for "Gingrich":

MANCHESTER, N.H. --Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday that First Amendment rights need to be expanded and cited the elimination of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms as one solution.

... (later in the article)

Noting the thwarted London terrorist attacks this summer, Gingrich said there should be a Geneva Convention for such actions that makes those people subject to "a totally different set of rules."

From this Globe article (hardly a conservative-friendly paper) it appears Gingrich's "totally different set of rules" has not to do with freedom of speech, but with the Geneva Convention as applied to terrorists, which is a whole 'nother bag of worms in and of itself; however, the question remains as to how the OP managed to spin what seem to be two separate points into one decidedly negative message.

Does anyone have the actual transcript of his speech there so we can figure out who's full of BS and who's not? Think about it -- if the man is even THINKING of running for President in '08, he certainly isn't going to get elected if he runs on a platform of RESTRICTING basic freedom of speech.

he's not quoted in context (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021244)

Also consider the source. Who knows what Newt actually said, you aren't going to find out by reading a leftist news source. Don't let this get in the way of your hate-GOP fest though.

Screw you, Newt , you wind-baged scrotum-blight! (0, Flamebait)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021274)

I ask you: what part of "Congress shall make no law..." didn't he get the memo on?

Relevant Quote (3, Interesting)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021284)

Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams

I nominate Newt as democracy's first victim.

Better Safe than Sorry! (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021326)

Better safe than sorry, right?

After all, as long as you are safe, what do you care who is sorry?

Trecherous Computing Moves Forward (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021336)

A couple of people on /. have been having dreams about this. I bet there are others *much* higher up than me that have had it too.

It's a shame much more credible people than me that have had this dream can't discuss it because it will literally end their career and label them "extremists" that are in cahoots with the terrists and other criminals. 8&cid=16979248 []

Funny how Trusted/Treacherous Computing would work very well within this kind of nation-state.

Bill of Rights Lite (4, Insightful)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021342)

I'm still stunned that the conservative movement, which used to claim to champion smaller government and strict constitutional readings, has turned into a champion of authoritarian governmental control. The Bill of Rights is key to the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and these rights were ironed out by leaders who just emerged victorious from a civil war. They understood war and its dangers but more importantly they understood the danger of tyranny, and so the very first right in the Bill of Rights is the right to free speech. To try and claim that now we must suspend this fundamental right because of "war" is to go against the very underpinnings of this country's foundation and sets the stage for increasing authoritarianism by the US Government.

What makes us different? (3, Insightful)

niola (74324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021376)

We have military tribunals that usurp Habeas Corpus.

We have warrantless wiretaps and searches that basically ignore the Fourth Amendmant.

Now some want to curb free speech.

At some point you have to ask yourself what are we fighting for?

There was a time when our steadfast will to uphold the US Constitution gave us somewhat of a moral compass that differentiate us from our foes.

Now we are basically eroding the very document that made the US a great nation.

The very purpose of terrorism is NOT to kill. That is a means to an desired end result.

Here is a common definition of terrorism:

the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimindation or coercion or instilling fear

By us disregarding the Constitution we are giving the terrorists what they want.

The terrorists are winning because the governments of the western world are GIVING THEM WHAT THEY WANT.

And don't think for a second some of this is not for the benefit of the mega-multinational corporations either.

This is facism at it's purest. Welcome to the 21st century. I hope you enjoy your coup that George W Bush et al engineered.

Republican strategy for next election (1)

gorehog (534288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17021382)

See, Gingrich knows that the most dangerous threat to his party's point of view is free speech, the open exchange of ideas.

He prolly plans on winning the next election by silencing the opposition. They tried to use the cry of "Won't someone please think of the terrorists!" to drown out othe opposition. now he has dreams of calling the police and saying "Yeah, I think so-and-so is saying something that helps the terrorists." He's a fucking facist.

See, you know this is a smokescreen for something else because the terrorists are not coming from the USA. Therefore, the use of free speech is not helping or causing terrorism.

If I had to guess, I bet you'd find fat campaign contributions from RIAA and MPAA in Newt's pocket.

He is right - the 'war' isn't against 'terror'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17021386)

Imagine if someone were to use a 'free speech' newswire/slash-blog to dare mention that 9/11 had nothing to do with 'al-whatever' and everything to do with a former anti-capitalist clique that chose to attack the Pentagon (arms) and the World Trade Centre (trade) on the opening day of the world's arms-trade fair. Imagine if such a 'wild claim' were to be backed up with firm primary-source evidence instead of highly speculative 'al-qaeda-ology'. Now imagine that the 'enlightened' web audience cottons on to push for a global abolition of the arms-trade (and demand the heads of Bush, Blair and all the rest of them). It could happen, hence the neo-cons are dead scared.
Incidentally, it was probably the UK D-notice committee that first foisted the 'bloke in a cave' story on the world, as the Twin Towers crumbled to the ground, sans explosives. The D-notice committee are the UK government censors and all the UK media sit on the committee.
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